Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Big Year movie
Birders should be excited about a big-screen birding movie based on a hilarious, much-beloved book, starring a bevy of famous actor-comedians, right? Right?
Maybe. We loved Mark Obmascik's The Big Year, the tale of the 1998 Big Year contest between Sandy Komito, Greg Miller and Al Levantin. The book captured the seriousness and hilarity of a contest to see more species in North America than anyone else, and it deftly portrayed the three completely different personalities of the men involved.
Well, the movie is due out next year, perhaps in May, and it stars, among others, Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson.
BC "guest contributor" Paul Baicich recently emailed us some photos and other information about the upcoming movie, which we understand has completed filming and is in post-production.
Here's a movie industry precis: Three obsessive bird watchers go off on their "Big Year," duking it out to spot and record the highest number of species in 1998--the year El Nino brought an unprecedented number of species to North America. During the course of their wild, ultra competitive adventure, the guys learn that there just may be other things more important than winning.
We'll reserve judgment until we see the movie itself, or at least the trailer. But popular culture has a really bad record when it comes to portraying the reality of birders and birding (to the extent it ever does), and we hope the movie dispels caricatures, while entertaining, rather than reinforcing them.
Here's another pic, of the filiming of a pelagic birding scene.
Also courtesy of Paul B, here is a recent interview with Al Levantin.
More on this over at the Birdchaser.....